Quotations of Wisdom

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David Hume

Accuracy is, in every case, advantageous to beauty, and just reasoning to delicate sentiment. In vain would we exalt the one by depreciating the other. [Q1354]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Speak what you think now in hard words and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. [Q426]

Adlai Stevenson

Your days are short here; this is the last of your springs. And now in the serenity and quiet of this lovely place, touch the depths of truth, feel the hem of Heaven. You will go away with old, good friends. And don't forget when you leave why you came. [Q1657]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss. [Q405]

Senator Paul Simon

He has the right to form his opinions and the right to express them — and the day the right freely to express our own thoughts is taken from us, that day will be the last of our religious and political freedom. Alton Telegraph, Aug 10, 1836 in response to Elijah's first press thrown into the Mississippi River. [Q1884]

Sinclair Lewis

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross. — Summarization of his book It Can't Happen Here. [Q658]

Don Draper

People tell you who they are, but we ignore it. Because we want them to be who we want them to be. [Q1556]

Thor Heyerdahl

I was in uniform for four years, and I know that heroism doesn't occur from taking orders, but rather from people who through their own willpower and strength are willing to sacrifice their lives for an idea. [Q1535]

Hippocrates

The life so short, the craft so long to learn. [Q1033]

Senator Paul Simon

The position of Paul Nyholm and my brother is that the Bible is inspired and an accurate guide on Christ's life and mission and on issues of faith and morals, but does not require that a person accept creation in six days or that Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. [Q1690]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science. [Q415]

Howard Zinn

Americans have been taught that their nation is civilized and humane. But, too often, U.S. actions have been uncivilized and inhumane. [Q383]

E. B. White

Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar. [Q2078]

H.G. Wells

There is nothing in machinery, there is nothing in embankments and railways and iron bridges and engineering devices to oblige them to be ugly. Ugliness is the measure of imperfection. [Q461]

Richard P. Feynman

It's because someone knows something about it that we can't talk about physics. It's the things that nobody knows about that we can discuss. We can talk about the weather; we can talk about social problems; we can talk about psychology; we can talk about international finance... so it's the subject that nobody knows anything about that we can all talk about! [Q971]

Henry David Thoreau

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. [Q1904]

Margaret Mead

Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful. [Q951]

Buckminster Fuller

While my contemporaries were looking how to make a living, I decided to focus on what needed to be done for society. [Q130]

Margaret Mead

Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. [Q1425]

Václav Havel

The recent period — and in particular the last six weeks of our peaceful revolution — has shown the enormous human, moral and spiritual potential, and the civic culture that slumbered in our society under the enforced mask of apathy. Whenever someone categorically claimed that we were this or that, I always objected that society is a very mysterious creature and that it is unwise to trust only the face it presents to you. I am happy that I was not mistaken. Everywhere in the world people wonder where those meek, humiliated, sceptical and seemingly cynical citizens of Czechoslovakia found the marvellous strength to shake the totalitarian yoke from their shoulders in several weeks, and in a decent and peaceful way. [Q1790]

John Steinbeck

No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself. [Q1370]

Albert Einstein

If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would it? [Q387]

Octavio Paz

Social criticism begins with grammar and the re-establishing of meanings. [Q2081]

Adlai Stevenson

Every age needs men who will redeem the time by living with a vision of the things that are to be. [Q1647]

Albert Einstein

Intellectuals solve problems. Geniuses prevent them. [Q1956]

Albert Einstein

As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it. [Q399]

Buckminster Fuller

The youth of humanity all around our planet are intuitively revolting from all sovereignties and political ideologies. The youth of Earth are moving intuitively toward an utterly classless, raceless, omnicooperative, omniworld humanity. Children freed of the ignorantly founded educational traditions and exposed only to their spontaneously summoned, computer-stored and -distributed outflow of reliable-opinion-purged, experimentally verified data, shall indeed lead society to its happy egress from all misinformedly conceived, fearfully and legally imposed, and physically enforced customs of yesterday. They can lead all humanity into omnisuccessful survival as well as entrance into an utterly new era of human experience in an as-yet and ever-will-be fundamentally mysterious Universe. — The Wellspring of Reality [Q180]

René Descartes

I think; therefore I am. [Q1117]

Václav Havel

Our civilization has essentially globalized only the surfaces of our lives. But our inner self continues to have a life of its own. And the fewer answers the era of rational knowledge provides to the basic questions of human Being, the more deeply it would seem that people, behind its back as it were, cling to the ancient certainties of their tribe. Because of this, individual cultures, increasingly lumped together by contemporary civilization, are realizing with new urgency their own inner autonomy and the inner differences of others. [Q1804]

Marshall McLuhan

The spoken word was the first technology by which man was able to let go of his environment in order to grasp it in a new way. [Q1484]

John Boyd Orr

When the fabric of society is so rigid that it cannot change quickly enough, adjustments are achieved by social unrest and revolutions. [Q1158]

Aristotle

After this event there was contention for a long time between the upper classes and the populace. Not only was the constitution at this time oligarchical in every respect, but the poorer classes, men, women, and children, were the serfs of the rich. They were known as Pelatae and also as Hectemori, because they cultivated the lands of the rich at the rent thus indicated. The whole country was in the hands of a few persons, and if the tenants failed to pay their rent they were liable to be haled into slavery, and their children with them. All loans secured upon the debtor's person, a custom which prevailed until the time of Solon, who was the first to appear as the champion of the people. But the hardest and bitterest part of the constitution in the eyes of the masses was their state of serfdom. Not but what they were also discontented with every other feature of their lot; for, to speak generally, they had no part nor share in anything. — The Athenian Constitution — Section 1 Part 2 [Q1620]

Socrates

Beware the barrenness of a busy life. [Q1315]

Lucretius

In the midst of the fountain of wit there arises something bitter, which stings in the very flowers. [Q1559]

Plato

He was a wise man who invented beer. [Q883]

Ward Cunningham

The decisions I made designing wiki were very much inspired by my desire to create a model for the collaborative process I thought should happen in large code bases. I wanted wiki to mimic that. [Q1010]

Julia Robinson

We aren't pushing a particular agenda, but we're opening a dialogue on how we need to be doing something different. We think it is positive to talk about ideas. We selected the university to do that because the university is intended to be a place where you can debate ideas without being polarized. [Q1643]

Fredrik Bajer

To read the report of a discussion in which arguments for and against are presented, in which a subject has been covered from different points of view, with new ideas advanced - this is far more instructive than to read a brief account of the resolution passed on the matter. [Q1258]

Stephen Jay Gould

When people learn no tools of judgement and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown. [Q1811]

Anne Lamott

I am very devout, but I don't have certainty or conviction. The opposite of faith isn't doubt; it's certainty. [Q43]

Master Kan

If we have the wisdom to learn, all may teach us their virtues. — Kung Fu television series 1972 [Q517]

Robert Heinlein

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. [Q1207]

Euripides

Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing. [Q96]

Pablo Picasso

The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do? [Q606]

Dale Carnegie

Your purpose is to make your audience see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. Relevant detail, couched in concrete, colorful language, is the best way to recreate the incident as it happened and to picture it for the audience. [Q282]

Anne Rice
 

Morality is what matters to me, it's being a good person and when you put forward a religion that says belief in Christ alone saves and has nothing to do with morality, well to me that is immoral. [Q1911]

Václav Havel

Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it. [Q1749]

Margaret Mead

It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age. [Q1423]

Julian Assange

It is the role of good journalism to take on powerful abuses. [Q1211]

John Steinbeck

Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts... perhaps the fear of a loss of power. [Q1371]

Democritus

By desiring little, a poor man makes himself rich. [Q1163]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is a method, a progressive arrangement; a selecting principle, gathering his like to him; wherever he goes. [Q403]

John Kenneth Galbraith

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. [Q1595]

Bruce Schneier

It is poor civic hygiene to install technologies that could someday facilitate a police state. [Q2043]

Mary McAleese

The extent to which all people in our society are made to count, and believe that they count, is not just a measure of decency; it makes sound economic sense. [Q456]

Tupac Shakur

I'm a reflection of the community. [Q1308]

Mark Twain

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. [Q1278]

Alexander Fleming

When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn't plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world's first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess that was exactly what I did. [Q312]

Edward de Bono

The sheer ability of journalist to comprehend different fields is usually limited, so they have to fall back on three basics: the human angle; some gimmick aspect; attack. The prime purpose is not exposition of the subject but journalistic 'interest'. The ludecy is clear. Commercial democracy has its own ludecy. The larger the readership or the viewership the higher the advertising rates, so the search for the mass market is necessary. Clash and controversy are intrinsically more interesting than agreement, so disagreements have to be played up and emphasized. Scandals are fun, so personalities rate more than substance. — Page 266, Chapter titled, "Communication", I Am Right You are Wrong [Q2032]

Senator Paul Simon

If this American bloodshed in the defense of freedom of the press and the right of every American citizen to think, speak, and print his own honest opinions — be not signally vindicated, our representative institutions, our boasted freedom ... will become and deserves to become, the scoff and derision of the world. — The New York American (Op-Ed addressing the mob murder of Elijah Lovejoy) [Q1889]

Thomas Paine

Virtues are acquired through endeavor, Which rests wholly upon yourself. So, to praise others for their virtues can but encourage one's own efforts. [Q277]

Buckminster Fuller

The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun. [Q114]

Pablo Picasso

The chief enemy of creativity is "good" sense. [Q605]

Senator Paul Simon

A better-prepared workforce means higher productivity. Higher productivity results in a lower unit cost to manufacture an item. Lower costs increase the likelihood of successfully competing with products manufactured overseas. This leads to higher sales, which results in higher profits. Everyone wins-labor, management, stockholders, the government, and the dollar. [Q2061]

Thomas Jefferson

Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master! [Q203]

Stephen Hawking

One cannot really argue with a mathematical theorem. [Q731]

David S. Allen

Reliance on expert knowledge does not come without cost, however. Not only does it devalue the role of the public in democracy, it also leads to the formation of powerful occupational groups that attempt to secure for themselves an area of knowledge that will insure their power. — Democracy, Inc (Page 52) [Q290]

Herbert Simon

Maybe we ought to have a world in which things are divided between people kind of fairly. [Q644]

Woodrow Wilson

The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy. [Q497]

Václav Havel

The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power. He has no desire for office and does not gather votes. He does not attempt to charm the public, he offers nothing and promises nothing. He can offer, if anything, only his own skin — and he offers it solely because he has no other way of affirming the truth he stands for. His actions simply articulate his dignity as a citizen, regardless of the cost. [Q1779]

John Trenchard

Very great riches in private men are always dangerous to states, because they create greater dependence than can be consistent with the security of any sort of government whatsoever; they place subjects upon too near a level with their sovereigns; make the nobility stand upon too great an inequality in respect of one another; destroy, amongst the Commons, that balance of property and power, which is necessary to a democracy... [Q1905]

Meister Eckhart

The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake. [Q1631]

Pete Seeger

I like to say I'm more conservative than Goldwater. He just wanted to turn the clock back to when there was no income tax. [Q349]

George C. Williams

The moment-of-conception fallacy implies that fertilization is a simple process with never a doubt as to whether it has or has not happened. [Q1056]

Oscar Wilde

Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason. [Q287]

Plato

At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. [Q1617]

Bill Withers

The thing I always tell my kids—it's ok to head out for wonderful, but on your way to wonderful you are going to have to pass through alright. Take a good look around at alright and get used to it because that may be as far as you are going to go. Most people don't know or don't care who you are. Kinda like pennies—you have them in your pocket but you don't know they are there. [Q1947]

Adlai Stevenson III

Nineteen men armed with box cutters could not bring all America down. Only its government can do that. [Q1869]

Krista Tippett

Moses, Jesus, Buddha, St. Francis of Assisi, Gandhi; These kind of people are geniuses of the art of living, more necessary to the dignity, security, and joy of humanity than the discoverers of objective knowledge. — TED - Reconnecting with Compassion - Paraphrasing Albert Einstein. [Q1399]

Hippocrates

To do nothing is also a good remedy. [Q1034]

Theodore Roosevelt

It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize. [Q1283]

Adlai Stevenson II

This is one of those intervals in our history when the press, money, business, and government have coalesced. These are important forces in our national life, and as the tendency to concentration of power and influence grows, the power of coercion grows, too... We see dissent and criticism diminishing. And conformity is always the easiest way. [Q1850]

Robert Pirsig

One geometry cannot be more true than another; it can only be more convenient. Geometry cannot be true, it can only be advantageous. [Q374]

Paul Berg

With time, many of the facts I learned were forgotten but I never lost the excitement of discovery. [Q1882]

John Boyd Orr

After the First World War the economic problem was no longer one of production. It was the problem of finding markets to get the output of industry and agriculture dispersed and consumed. [Q1150]

Buckminster Fuller

All of humanity now has the option to "make it" successfully and sustainable, by virtue of our having minds, discovering principles and being able to employ these principles to do more with less. — Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth [Q124]

Art Spiegelman

With any work worth its salt, you have to trust the author enough to take its measure. And if you apply too many preconceptions, you are not taking its measure. [Q465]

Barbara Deming

Vengeance is not the point; change is. But the trouble is that in most people's minds the thought of victory and the thought of punishing the enemy coincide. [Q1395]

Richard M Nixon

We do not learn by inference and deduction and the application of mathematics to philosophy, but by direct intercourse and sympathy. [Q309]

Virgil

It is easy to go down into Hell; night and day, the gates of dark Death stand wide; but to climb back again, to retrace one's steps to the upper air - there's the rub, the task. [Q1582]

Plato

Apply yourself both now and in the next life. Without effort, you cannot be prosperous. Though the land be good, You cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation. [Q875]

Michael Morpurgo

It is really important that focusing on things such as spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting doesn't inhibit the creative flow. When I was at school there was a huge focus on copying and testing and it put me off words and stories for years. [Q2083]

Buckminster Fuller

If humanity does not opt for integrity we are through completely. It is absolutely touch and go. Each one of us could make the difference. [Q109]

Plutarch

Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly. [Q789]

Plato

Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the Gods. [Q1619]

Mustafa Kemal

In the face of knowledge, science, and of the whole extent of radiant civilization, I cannot accept the presence in Turkey's civilized community of people primitive enough to seek material and spiritual benefits in the guidance of sheiks. The Turkish republic cannot be a country of sheiks, dervishes, and disciples. The best, the truest order is the order of civilization. To be a man it is enough to carry out the requirements of civilization. The leaders of dervish orders will understand the truth of my words, and will themselves close down their lodges [tekke] and admit that their disciplines have grown up. [Q1931]

Stephen Hawking

The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired. [Q732]

Eric Schmidt

When the Internet publicity began, I remember being struck by how much the world was not the way we thought it was, that there was infinite variation in how people viewed the world. [Q1294]

Mohandas Gandhi

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. [Q556]

Dennis Kucinich

This is a struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party, which in too many cases has become so corporate and identified with corporate interests that you can't tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans. [Q1598]

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